September 11

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Podcast Episode - Day in Technology History

Day in Tech History: Sep 11th


Dr. George R. Stibitz, a Bell Telephone Labs engineer, demonstrates the first example of “remote computing.” Having created built the “Model 1 Complex Number Calculator” a year before at Bell Laboratories, he leaves it in New York City and travels to New Hampshire with a teleprinter, where he allows attendees of the American Mathematical Society at Dartmouth College to enter equations that are transmitted down phone lines and calculated remotely, before the answers are returned to what will later be described as an astounded audience. Wiremen had arranged the hookup between the college and the computer in the Bell Labs building on West Street in New York, New York a day before the demonstration. It took about one minute for the computer to respond accurately via teletype to problems sent to it.


Golle Cushing, age 22, known by the handle “Alpha Bits”, is arrested for selling stolen credit card numbers and cell phone information.

A US Secret Service sting operation called “Operation Cybersnare,” results in the arrest of six computer users and the seizure of at least twenty machines throughout several states. The operation is a “sting” made possible through a BBS operated by the Secret Service called “Celco 51.”


Gunpei Yokoi resigns from Nintendo and founds his own company, Koto.


The Mars Global Surveyor, which was launched in November 1996, goes into an elliptical orbit around Mars, where it was intended to spend two years mapping the surface of Mars. To drop into a lower orbit the original mission plan was to use a braking effect by dipping into the upper Martian atmosphere. The lower orbit was a better position for mapping purposes. However, the aerobraking method which should have dropped the probe into a lower orbit fails to deploy correctly.

The Motorola Computer Group announces that it is leaving the Macintosh systems market, due to inability to reach a viable business agreement with Apple Computer on licensing the Mac OS. Motorola also announces it will not ship the StarMax 6000 systems it had previously announced.


Mindspring Enterprises Inc. agrees to purchase the Sprynet subscriber base and assets for US$35 million from AOL. AOL had originally acquired Sprynet base when it took over Compuserve Interactive Services Inc. in February 1998.


The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) releases a report entitled, “”Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children: A Review of Self Regulation and Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording and Electronic Gaming Industries,” which concludes that children are targeted by entertainment industry advertising for violent movies and video games. The topic becomes a presidential campaign issue. Read the report online as a PDF file.


Twin Towers


After a significant effort to locate it, the original post in which Scott Fahlman proposes the use of emoticons in online forums on the CMU CS general bboard is retrieved by Jeff Baird from an October 1982 backup tape of the spice vax (cmu-750x).


MTV sees a major spike from their web page after Brittany Spears “lip sync” fiasco.

The Skype Worm is reported

The New England Patriots are accused of using technology to record signals from the Jets sidelines as so to gain advantage on the field.


Tivo and Research in Motion announce a partnership where you can review television schedules and set their TiVo DVRs to record select television programming to your Blackberry device.

Microsoft and Novell announce a partnership to where you can virtualize a SUSE Linux operating system running on Microsofts’ Hypervisor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee votes to give the Justice Department the power to file civil lawsuits against peer-to-peer infringers. This was an RIAA backed bill. It is the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act

The Second Seinfeld – Gates commercials hits the airwaves.


Microsoft sets up the CodePlex Foundation – Microsoft’s Open-source project to bridge the open source and commercial worlds.

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